From the moment she holds her baby niece, Rose is on a mission. Terrified that her baby niece will fall victim to the sexual abuse rampant in the family, Rose tells us in her own warm, funny, down-to-earth voice, how she reluctantly agrees to join a therapy group, hoping she can find out how to prevent disaster and see that baby Jenny grows up unharmed. In the group, she meets new friends who will become like family: Josie, who "sees" the future; Tammy, with a suspicious bruise on her neck; good and steady Marg, whose father is threatening to burn down her apartment house; and sweet, grieving, spiritual Sally. Rose's own chronic problem, she confesses, is picking wrong men. Josie finds a small magazine picture of a little town in northern Ontario. She sees, with her second sight, a resort hotel to be built in this town and a sunnier life for the group. As they begin to take the first painful steps of emotional recovery, an intense fantasy about this unknown town and dream hotel becomes the secret life of the group. Deep friendships evolve as the women help one another through the roller coasters of their recovery process. Despite setbacks, they cling to their dream of moving up north and running their own hotel.
"With a delightful touch of fantasy, Laurie Ray Hill brings us Rose's strong, determined, sometimes faltering journey towards healing in this insightful and humorous narrative of a group of diverse women who work their way out of early trauma to hard-won recovery. This is a story told with compassion that brings comfort and awe at the human capacity to rebuild lives, no matter how broken."
--Marie Prins, author of Uncommon Quest 2019 Silver Winner The Girl from the Attic
"Riveting and wryly humorous, Paper Stones follows the heartbreaks and ultimate triumph of Rose Underhill, a survivor of childhood sexual abuse. Laurie Ray Hill's exquisite prose navigates this difficult topic with tenacious hope and unflinching attention to the profound effects of childhood experience."
--Pili Palm-Leis, author of Keep Up, Katmai
"Warm, accessible, human, Paper Stones is a goldmine.... I could see building a whole course around this book."
--Andrew Buntin, professor, Child and Youth Care Programme, George Brown College, Toronto